One of the smaller British cities, with a population just over 50,000, St Albans has an amazing heritage stretching back to the Roman and Medieval era. You can discover the city’s fascinating history for yourself at Verulamium Park which retraces the city’s Roman footsteps, as well as the stunning cathedral, the oldest site of Christian worship in the UK. Alternatively, take a trip to the top of the Old Clock Tower for 360-degree views over Hertfordshire, or fly back in time to the de Havilland Aircraft Museum and its spread of historic aircraft. With so much to see and do, you’ll never be left wondering what to do in St Albans. Plus, its buzzing theatre, live music and cinema scene means there’s plenty of arts and culture to explore, and with a compact city centre, there are dozens of bars, cafés, pubs, clubs and restaurants too, many of which just a short walk from one of our hotels in St Albans.
Things to do in St Albans
Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s rich history or take in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside, St Albans is loaded with activities. Make sure to check out the stunning cathedral and the amazing Roman ruins at Verulamium Park, one of the UK’s best preserved archaeological sites.
With a wide range of theatre, live music and cinema options, St Albans has a thriving entertainment scene. The Alban Arena is the biggest and busiest of them, covering everything from famous comedians to plays, musicals and pantomimes, while film fans will love the beautifully restored Art Deco Odyssey Cinema, a brilliantly vintage step back in time.
With over 70 stores, cafés and restaurants – plus a library and theatre – The Maltings is the largest shopping centre in St Albans. Big-name stores include H&M, New Look and Topman, with cafés and restaurants including Subway, Jamie’s Italian, Love Koffee and Benito’s Hat. Located in the heart of St Albans near the Alban Arena and a short stroll from our St Albans City Centre hotel, the shopping centre is also home to the Maltings Art Theatre, a small studio theatre which puts on a range of drama, comedy, music and theatrical events.
On the other side of the street, you’ll find Christopher Place Shopping Centre, a stylish shopping centre covering an array of more alternative, up-market outlets, such as French Connection, Whistles and Cath Kidston, as well as some excellent cafés and restaurants including Wagamama, Carluccio’s and The Pudding Stop.
Rounding out the shopping options is the St Albans Market which runs every Wednesday and Saturday along St. Peters Street from 9am until 5.30pm. A historic market that has roots as far back as the 9th century, the stalls includes everything from a wide range of street food to artisan food, arts and crafts, jewellery and fashion.
St Albans is just over 10 miles south of Luton Airport, a major international airport with regular departures across the UK and Europe and a major hub for EasyJet, TUI, Ryanair and Wizz Air. Trains run every 10 minutes from St Albans Station at peak times and take around 11 minutes direct to Luton Airport Parkway, while driving will take around 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can make the journey even easier by staying the night before your travel at one of our hotels near Luton Airport.
Heathrow is a little further away from St Albans, with the 27-mile journey taking around half an hour by car or around 90-minutes via a direct bus service. The busiest airport in the country with over 1,000 daily departures, it’s serviced by a wide range of airlines flying across the UK, Europe and further afield.
There are two train stations in the city centre, with St Albans City being the most commonly used one. The four-platform station has a newsagent, ticket office and several shops, and offers direct links north and south to London, Wimbledon, Gatwick Airport, Brighton and Luton.